Jackson Holliday puts on a 'fun face' while paying tribute to infamous Billy Ripken 'f*** face' baseball card

Holliday's card was a previously unannounced addition to the latest Topps set

It was 35 years ago that Fleer released the legendary Billy Ripken baseball card that featured ‘f*** face’ written on the knob of his bat while he was with the Baltimore Orioles.

This week, it was another Oriole's turn to make a memorable collectable.

Top prospect Jackson Holliday has a unique card in the 2024 Topps Series 2 Baseball set, which will bring back memories of Ripken — except this one has "fun face" written on the knob.

Jackson Holliday / Topps
Jackson Holliday / Topps

Holliday’s card, which was previously unannounced as part of the set, won’t have the enduring legend around it that Ripken's does, but it’s a nice find for collectors as they rip packs.

As for Ripken, he originally told Tim Kurkjian of the Baltimore Sun that the "f*** face" bat was a prank by his teammates. But that apparently was not the truth.

In 2008, Ripken admitted to Darren Rovell that he wrote the phrase himself so he could identify the bat quickly when he needed it.

“I got a dozen bats in front of my locker during the 1988 season. I pulled the bats out, model R161, and noticed — because of the grain patterns — that they were too heavy. But I decided I’d use one of them, at the very least, for my batting practice bat.

“Now I had to write something on the bat. At Memorial Stadium, the bat room was not too close to the clubhouse, so I wanted to write something that I could find immediately if I looked up and it was 4:44 and I had to get out there on the field a minute later and not be late. There were five big grocery carts full of bats in there, and if I wrote my number 3, it could be too confusing. So I wrote ‘F***’ Face on it.”

Ripken said he remembered the Orioles’ public relations person calling him that January to tell him the photo ended up in the 1989 set of Fleer cards. The company ended up sending him some of the cards, and he signed them and gave them to his groomsmen at his wedding that offseason.

Fleer ended up releasing new Ripken cards with "f*** face" erased from the knob of the bat, but that hasn't stopped the original from being one of the most highly sought pieces of memorabilia.